Tattoo/Body Piercing Establishment Permit:
- A license is required to operate any premises where a tattooist applies a tattoo to another person, or premises where a body piercer performs body piercing, or both.
- Each license issued by the Department expires June 30th of each year.
- If a license is granted after April 1st of a license year, that license will extend to June 30th of the following year.
Temporary Body Art Establishments - This link provides important information regarding Tattooing and Body Piercing at Festivals and Other Events.
Whom Should I Contact to Obtain a License?
Establishment licenses are issued by the county Health Department or DSPS if the county Health Department does not perform inspections. Contact numbers for county Health Departments which perform inspections can be found on our web page at DSPS Tattoo and Body Art. Applications and other information can also be found on this web page. If your county does not perform body art establishment inspections, please contact DSPS at (608) 266-2112.
License Application Process:
Review the Agent County/City Health Departments. If your establishment(s) will be located in one of the City/Counties listed, contact the agent in that county for the application instructions-DO NOT submit an application to the Department of Safety and Professional Services.
Submit completed application (Form #3174) and applicable fee(s).
Schedule Pre-Licensing Inspection: Once you receive notification that your application has been received, contact the Department of Safety and Professional Services at (608) 266-2112 or visit: www.dsps.wi.gov to schedule the inspection. During the inspection, the Inspector will share with you the applicable code requirements that your establishment must meet.
Some important public health concerns identified during the pre-licensing inspection include:
- Procedural area hand wash sink(s) with hot and cold water under pressure
- Toilet room with toilet and separate hand wash sink
- Age restriction signage
- Light colored, easily cleanable walls and ceilings
- Smooth, durable and non-porous floor material in procedural areas
- Approved and listed autoclave for sterilization
- Ultrasonic cleaning unit provided
- Closed cabinets exclusively used for equipment storage
- Proper sharps disposal container size and location(s)
- Inks from approved sources
- Disinfectants, antiseptics and enzymatic cleaners supplied
- Single use gloves, plastic coverings and barrier shields supplied
If you are requesting a variance, please complete this form, Body Art Variance Petition Application (Form # 1000-IS) and return it to either your local Health Department or DSPS as applicable.
The Inspector may ask you for documentation showing that the proposed Tattooing and Body Piercing establishment has been approved for use by the local zoning authority. Talk with the local zoning authority to assure that your property is approved for business use. The local zoning authority may be a Village, Township, City, or County.
Practitioner Resources: (potential occupational exposure to blood borne pathogens and sharps)
Tattooing and Body Piercing Frequently Asked Questions